Registered Foundation No: 175647065

Rudozem Street Dog Rescue

Help us to help them

Shelter Renovations Updates

About RSDR

Rudozem Street Dog Rescue (RSDR) is a non profit foundation in Bulgaria that rescues street dogs and cats from a life of abuse and finds them loving homes in the UK.  RSDR is run by English family Diane & Tony Rowles who started the foundation in 2009 after seeing the plight of the street animals. If you would like to read more about how RSDR started, please go to

-View Finding Shelter trailer - a documentary trailer on RSDR at
-Facebook Photo Album - Photos of all the Renovations completed:

New Bulgarian Law implemented 

1 February 2017 -  A new ruling passed in Bulgaria that animals from the streets can no longer be transported from registered charities unless they are also from a registered shelter. The RSDR shelter renovations still have a long way before completion, so the shelter can not be registered, so we are unable to produce the export certificates our animals need to go to their new adopted homes.  Our adoption transport for February 2017 that was full of adopted animals had to be cancelled.   There are thousands of animals in the streets that are suffering and needing our help. RSDR has been vital to saving and adopting over 1500 animals to other countries since 2009.  This effects the plight and future of street animals in Bulgaria as we will no longer be able to take in any more animals that may desperately need help due to the shelter being so full, and renovations needing to be done before achieving full shelter registration. (See Media Release dated 3 February 2017)

RSDR have been told also by Authorities to not take in anymore animals until the shelter is registered or risk being fined and closed.  
RSDR have been fundraising and renovating parts of the shelter for years to bring it up to standard as you can see in our progress and updates, on this page below. 

2019 -  For the past 2 years, RSDR have done all the necessary training courses in animal handling, animal transport and registered two vehicles for moving animals. We have had a project manager and architect working on the plans for the renovations and fundraised for the renovations.   The builders have worked over the past 2 years to complete most of these renovations.  The last 2 years has been a very long and lengthy process. The reasons it has been so lengthy, is because for our area we are the first applying for shelter registration and the authorities haven't done this kind of thing before and it is all new to them.  Due to this unfortunately of not having regular adoption transports, RSDR have had many animals dumped at the shelter, so we are extremely overcrowded and are completely full.  

We have had more issues with the shelter registration process being blocked over the past year.  A few local protesters (one also being a lawyer) have been trying to block the shelter registration with numerous court cases on various topics.  Our lawyer is handling these cases.  This however has been quite stressful and taking its toll on all the staff at RSDR as well as financial costs.  We have also been advised by our lawyer to be careful what we say on social media and our website as it could affect the outcome.  

In both 2018 & 2019, RSDR have been granted permission to do limited transports of 1-2 adoption trips, but this has been very limited and Authorities have changed their minds at certain times.  RSDR have been careful to not mention these transports on social media so there are less issues with protesters.  

RSDR are still going through the process of shelter registration and we are unsure on the time scale on how long this will take.   

(completed)   Shelter Fundraiser - Youcaring (Feb 2017) Shelter Renovations

In February 2017, RSDR set up a fundraiser on Youcaring to raise funds for the many renovations still to be completed at the shelter.  In April 2017, we received a quote from a second builder which was more reasonable in cost. The cost of total renovations inside the shelter and costs incurred was a total of 62,564 euros.

-  For detailed report - RSDR Shelter Situation 2017 & Costings - Download Report 2017

This target on our fundraiser was achieved by our many supporters.  Many of our updates about the renovations and shelter registration progress were on this fundraiser, however due to youcaring joining forces with Gofundme near the end of 2018,  all old fundraisers were deleted.  We managed to screenshot the fundraiser and the updates which we have put on a google drive folder.   See Shelters updates on this fundraisers in our google drive.

(completed)   Shelter Fundraiser - Gogetfunding (April 2018) - Exerise yards split / temporary pens being built  

In April 2018, due to the fact that we had to start major renovations before we will get registration (we had hoped to get the registration with the architect plans), we have had to have a number of outside pens built and split the exercise yards. We had hoped we would get registration before the renovations, enabling us to do adoptions and giving us more room for the work to be done. As it is, we are going to struggle removing all the dogs from each part of the building while work is carried out. The exercise yards have been split again so that we can have dogs in each part of the yards with kennels while the work is carried out inside the building. This wasn’t allowed for in our original budget so we do need to fundraise to cover the extra expense.  The first bill for 5520 Bulgarian Levs is for the new pens built so far.  The second bill for 3282 Bulgarian Levs is for splitting the exercise yards.  We will also need approximately another 3000 Bulgarian Levs to build 3 more outside pens.  Total Cost 11,802 Bulgarian Levs (approximately 6040 euros).

Before and After of work being done at the shelter.  (see our facebook album for more photos)

  • The room that we are hoping will pass for now as quarantine/examination room is almost done. It has new floor covering, has been totally re-plastered and the freezer came yesterday.
    The room that we are hoping will pass for now as quarantine/examination room is almost done. It has new floor covering, has been totally re-plastered and the freezer came yesterday.
  • New Floors inNew floors in Quarnatine/Exam room
    New Floors inNew floors in Quarnatine/Exam room
  • Exam / quarantine room.  temporary examination quarantine room until new rooms are made that we are hoping will pass.  Just waiting on an examination table and cages to put in.
    Exam / quarantine room. temporary examination quarantine room until new rooms are made that we are hoping will pass. Just waiting on an examination table and cages to put in.

How it all started?

2013 - RSDR told to renovate Shelter to EU Standard.

In February 2013, we were advised by a Rudozem municipality representative that if the shelter was not up to EU standard soon, RSDR would close, and our Founder would be charged. (radio interview with founder Diane Rowles)  Since then, no action has been taken against RSDR by the municipality, however we still need to be vigilant in fundraising towards renovations and make sure each of our target goals have been met. We know that the overall goal of renovation of the "whole shelter" will be long term and could take years, however the builder has said he will work with us in stages as and when we raise the funds and work can be done.

We hope that by seeing progress of the renovations on the shelter will help appease the municipality and hold off any action.  It has taken to July 2013 for us to get quotations, due to sorting out paperwork and guidelines with the municipality, and checking if an architects plans were required. We have now received quotations and have target goals set.

View our Photo Album - Shelter Renovations

View more about RSDR and what else we have accomplished on the About Us page of our website.


Shelter Specifications  (now completed)

For detailed report - RSDR Shelter Situation 2017 & Costings - Download Report 2017

Previous Shelter Fundraisers


Exercise Yard Renovations - New Secure Fencing - COMPLETED NOVEMBER 2016

Press here to donate on youcaring fundraiser

RSDR still have to fundraise to pay for the secure fencing for the exercise yards, so we started a new fundraiser and included the balance of previous fundraisers (6,783.00 euros) as an offline donation on this fundraiser to show what we have already raised.   

New Fencing has now been constructed and we have received invoicing from the Builder.  The Builder also put in a small fence & gate in the memorial garden which is in front of the exercise yards.  Please help us to raise the funds to cover the bills.

Invoice 1 - 28 October 2016 - 9900.00 Bulgarian Levs

Invoice 2 - 18 November 2016 - 10050.00 Bulgarian Levs

Total 19950.00 Bulgarian Levs  - approx 10,211 euros  (Copy of Invoices here

Press here to see renovation photos on our facebook album.

NOTE:  ONLY 8,906 EUROS WAS RAISED OUT OF TARGET 10,211 EUROS.   The balance had to be taken out of general donations.


We were given a verbal estimate by the builder of 40,000 Bulgarian levs (approx 20,000 Euros) for renovations for new exercise yards.   We reached our target to fundraise 15,000 euros for renovations.  However the first 2 invoices from the builder, were more then we expected and have totaled 14,252 euros and were just for the concreting & installation of battons alone. 

Invoices consist of:

  • Concreting all of the grounds of the exercise yards.
  • Concreting the ground from the sound proof fence to the building
  • Concreting around the storage container
  • Installation of concrete battons

Invoice 1 -  Concrete of Exercise Yards  (21 September 2016) -  24 247.56 Levs  (converts to approx 12398 euros)
Invoice 2 - Concrete for extra section around Storage Container - 3,628 Levs (converts to 1,854 euros)
TOTAL:  14,252 Euros

On our perimeter fencing fundraiser we had a balance of 5665.44 euros up our sleeve to put towards the exercise yards, and the balance from this fundraiser is1,118 euros, totalling 6783.44 euros.   This will now be put towards fencing for the exercise yards and we will insert it as an offline donation on our next fundraiser.
- Invoice 1 - for construction of concrete base of fence - 3095.40 Bulgarian Levs  (approx 1582 euros / March 2016 rate)
- Invoice 2 - for construction of concrete floor & ramp - 2298.24 Bulgarian Levs (approx 1171 euros as at April 2016 rate)
- Invoice 3 - for construction of fence/gates - 4020 Bulgarian Levs (approx 2058.56 euros as at June 2016 rate)
TOTAL = 9,413.64 Bulgarian Levs (approximately 4811.56 euros)

Youcaring Fundraiser -  Press here,   Photos of contruction Press here
(Note: Balance of Youcaring Fundraiser of 5665.44 euros, will be going towards our next fundraiser which will be the new exercise yard fencing.)
1500 euros was raised in a Fundraiser for an outside Storage container to store firewood in the winter months & dog food.  
You can view fundraiser here and view photos here


16,595 euros was raised in a Fundraiser for a Sound Proof Fence, which was stipulated by the municipailty to install.  
One of the shelter boys that worked for a short time at the shelter, had skills with plastering.  So he plastered the front of the shelter & painted/tiled in July 2015.
Staffroom Window - Our dutch adoption team and supporters in NL donated funds for RSDR to install a new window in the staffroom  (see photos of completion)
Staffroom Door -  RSDR also did the Staffroom door at the same time as the window.  
5169 euros was raised in Target 4.  RSDR had to put these funds to materials for the inside and outside pens that were badly run down and needing replacing.


UPSTAIRS ROOM -  8,490.80 levs (4360.13 euros) - COMPLETED - 2013
Plastering of walls, treating the wood, and installing doors upstairs (7,112.84 Levs)  Copy of Target 3 quotation
Plus difference of revised quote on Target 1 - see below (1,377.96 Levs)
Total 8,490.80 Levs (4360.31 Euros)

Update:  - Third Target Goal Fundraiser has been met as at 10 November 2013.  (the goal has gone over 436.69 euros which will be rolled over to Target 4)
ELECTRICS & LIGHTS - 6296.40 levs ( 3219.34 euros) - COMPLETED - NOVEMBER 2013
Electrics & Lights for throughout the shelter.  Copy of Target 2 quotation
UPDATE -  Second Target Goal Fundraiser has been met as at 5 September 2013 
(Thank you to Funds for Furries Auction for donating to RSDR -  the builder is to start renovations on the first target goal on the 7 September 2013, then will do the electricity & lights afterwards.  Link to Fundraiser now closed  
The first target is for putting windows throughout the whole building, windows in the upstairs section the builder added for storage when he did the roof, a staircase and upstairs flooring. He will then see what materials he has left before giving another quote for putting ceilings in the middle and end part of the building.  
Copy of Target 1 quotation         Link to Fundraiser now closed  

UPDATE -  First Target Goal fundraiser has been met as at 4 September 2013 -  Builder to start renovations on the 7 September 2013. 

There was some confusion with the translation on the first quote as we originally thought it was for putting windows throughout the whole building.  The quote actually only includes putting windows in the first shed of the building, and does not include the middle and end shed so this would need to be quoted for later.  The quote does include as we had thought previously the staircase and upstairs flooring and windows.  We were surprised however that the builder had installed doors and closed off the Open Front plan of the building (which had been our current Target 3 fundraiser).  After discussion with the builder, we found that this was included in our Target 1 quote.  Target 3 has now been changed with our latest quote.   The builder however, advised us that quote 1 went over the costs he quoted, so he gave us a revised copy and told us the difference we have to pay which is 1,377.96 Levs.   This amount will go on as part of our Target 3 fundraiser.


2013 -  Plumbing with a new shower, sink, toilet, hot water with a washing machine.

                                                       Before washing blankets by hand                                                   After

2012 - Roof Renovations

In 2012, we had an emergency appeal for donations for the replacement of a dangerous roof.  In the early winter of 2012 in February, it was a frightening time, with the near collapse and bowing of the shelters wooden roof.  It was one of the coldest and heaviest snowfalls that winter with an extreme cold front across the whole of Europe.  All 150 dogs & cats were are risk of injury or death.  

There was holes in the roof, the roof was leaking, and the roof was bowing and creaking so low, it was quite dangerous.  It was also a horrible ordeal trying to scrape snow off the roof that had turned into ice during the night.  The municipality would not send any emergency support and the only JCB was being used by emergency services in other areas.  The neighbouring buildings roof had already collapsed and the RSDR shelter roof was creaking dangerously.  Eventually RSDR managed to find a local builder that helped brace supports during this time and found someone that had a JCB to help remove the snow that had piled up.  After this frightening winter our main aim was to urgently replace the roof before the next winter came in December 2012.  With worldwide support with individual donations, entering competitions, applying for grants, and a team effort of fundraising, enough funds were raised and completion of the new roof became final in December 2012. 


Re-construction of inside pens due to disaster of wall falling down when roof was built.

Remembrance Garden for animals


2011 - Construction of Exercise and Inside Pens


2010 - Purchase of Building & Land - December 2010

Since 2009, RSDR had been trying to raise funds for a dog shelter to save the many dogs in the Rudozem area. Numerous appeals to the mayor and the municipality were made, but they were unable to help. In early 2010, RSDR looked for plots of land that might be suitable for a dog shelter.

In October 2010 a plot of land with an existing building was found. Although the building needed work, it was an ideal place for the shelter. The land was about a 20 min drive from Rudozem and not in a residential area. RSDR were told the owners wanted 75,000 leva (approx. 38,000 euros) which was a bargain price as many other properties were, in excess of 50,000 euros for the land only.

RSDR had previously been working from the Rowles own family home and had up to 60 dogs and 6 cats. There complaints from neighbours about the noise level from the dogs and the constant worry the Rowles would have to move the dogs and send to a Dog Isolator. This is the last thing RSDR would want to have happen - as the Dog Isolators are places of torture.

A worldwide appeal for donations for the dog shelter through the RSDR website and social media was implemented and RSDR received numerous support to achieve the target goal. RSDR raised a total figure of 42,150.55 for the purchase of the land /building. The contracts were signed on the 22 December 2010.